Saturday, 9 April 2016

Cotswold Way Day 5

Al, Jan and I finished the first half of the Cotswold Way today by walking from Witcombe to Randwick.

Al was dropped off by his wife Carol as we are just a couple of miles from their house. We couldn't stay with them as they now have a dog and I'm allergic to dogs, cats, horses, sheep, giraffes, etc.

We left our hotel in Witcombe by 10.30am. It was an 11 mile day but relatively straightforward. Painswick Beacon was our first objective, reached in an hour or so. Should have been good views but the rain came in. We briefly watched lots of golfers getting wet as well as being entertained by a golfer chasing his runaway trolley down the hill. Fortunately for him it hit a divot and fell over just before a cliff, he was nowhere near catching it!

Lunch was in the Royal Oak in Painswick, a tasty home-cooked ham sandwich shared with Jan, washed down with an excellent pint of Exmoor Ale.

Next we headed for Randwick and the Vine Tree Inn, reaching it at 4pm, the end for this half of the Cotswold Way. I ended with a couple of pints of Hobgoblin before Al whisked us back to our hotel.

We walked 52 miles in 5 days managing about 14 miles to the gallon....... of beer!

I took 3 rolls of film in 5 days. Not the best return for a 5 day trip. I try not to take pictures on my film camera unless I think I can sell them so that's still pretty good. It will add a few shots to my Cotswolds collection. I didn't take any today, too wet or overcast.

Next year we hopefully finish the trek by walking the 50-odd miles from Randwick to Bath.

Painswick Beacon

Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling Hill from below

Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling Hill from the top

55 miles to go

Painswick Street

Painswick Church Yard Yew Trees

Painswick Church

Vine Tree Inn, Randwick

Friday, 8 April 2016

Cotswold Way Day 4

Today was our fourth day on the Cotswold Way. We drove back to 7 Springs this morning to resume our walk where we finished yesterday, well not exactly as the pub wasn't open!

It was 10 miles in total, starting in the rain but mostly dry with bits of sunshine here and there.

We walked a lot of high ground above Cheltenham, stopping for lunch at the Air Balloon pub, before coming down to our hotel near Gloucester.

I was able to take a few proper photographs too on my Mamiya 7 camera. I've now taken 30 proper black and white photographs in 4 days. I'm carrying just 3 or 4 rolls of Ilford 400 Delta a day but am still not using anywhere near that number.

All of the photos in my Cotswold Way blog posts were taken with a Motorola Moto-X phone. The ones posted in black and white I also took on my Mamiya so they will be available as proper darkroom prints at some stage, the others were just phone snapshots.

Dinner was interesting. We drove to the Royal William just a few minutes from our hotel. Timothy Taylor Landlord was a pleasant surprise so I tried it a couple of times to make sure it was in good form.

The menu had some unusual meats on it including Kangaroo, Buffalo, Ostritch and Wild Boar. I had something from the Specials board, Camel and chips. I've had Buffalo, Wild Boar, Horse, Donkey and Chamois, for example, but I've never seen Camel on the menu before (we lead a very sheltered life in the Peak District!). It tasted similar to beef steak but maybe a bit more chewy.

Tomorrow is our last day for this trip. We will have completed about half of the Cotswold Way.

Here are some shots from today.

Great Witcombe Church, near our hotel

Devils Chimney

Devils Chimney original

Cheltenham from Leckhampton Hill



Thursday, 7 April 2016

Cotswold Way Day 3

After a very comfortable night at the Rising Sun in Cleeve Hill we had to don full waterproofs before we stepped out of the hotel door. It was wet and windy for an hour or so then dry and dull. Finally it was wet for the last 20 minutes before we reached the pub. Typical!

Not a good day for photos, I only took 2 shots on my proper camera, both of the same tree.

Fortunately, it was a short day, just 8.5 miles so we made it to the Seven Springs by 2.30pm. The Abbot was off so it had to be IPA to end the walking part of the day.

Tomorrow we walk to the hotel we are in tonight. That sounds a bit cock-eyed but we're here for 3 nights, using cars to ferry us between start and finish points each day.

View Above Cheltenham


Cheltenham from above


Cotswold Way Day 2

My day started, as usual, with an hour or so of stretches and exercises for my bad back before going down to breakfast at 9am. It was a jolly good full English breakfast at the Winchcombe Plaisterers Arms. Jan then drove us to Stanton to start the day's walk.

Before we started I took 3 shots of the church on my Mamiya 7 film camera, the light was better than yesterday afternoon.

From Stanton we walked back to Winchcombe. Sunny to start then jolly heavy rain for an hour or so before Winchcombe. Just about dried off before our lunch stop. We visited the Corner Cupboard Inn for a change and a very tasty light lunch and a pint.

From here it was quite a short walk to Cleeve Hill and down to the Rising Sun, our home for the night. Good views from the window of our very comfortable room.

Jan and Al collected our car from Stanton while I had a purely medicinal pint in the bar.

We've walked about 23 miles in 2 days, it will be about 50 miles by the time we finish on Saturday, our fifth day. Forecast is for showers for the rest of our walk. Hoping they're not too heavy!

Not a lot of photographs for my Mamiya 7 camera, just over 2 rolls so far - 21 shots in fact and only 4 today. I seem to be taking as many phone photos for my blog as proper photographs!

Winchcombe Corner Cupboard lunch stop

Hailes Abbey Ruins in the Rain

View from our Room at Cleeve Hill Rising Sun

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Cotswold Way Day 1

Today, Tuesday 5th April, we started the Cotswold Way and it was a sunny day!

Jan and I met up with good friend Al from Gloucester, spending the night at the Red Lion in Chipping Campden. We also visited the 8 Bells for a couple of beers after dinner. What an excellent pub, so busy for a Monday night and friendly too.

The Cotswold Way is 100 miles from Chipping Campden to Bath. We are using our 2 cars to move our luggage between accommodation each day.

There seem to be 2 starting points, so we did them both. True to form Al had booked us as far from the starting point as possible!

We were up and away at the crack of 10.30am. It was about 1.5 miles to the church and back, the alternative start point. Then we walked to Broadway for lunch at the Crown and Trumpet. Good beer, nice snack lunch. Interesting walking too.

We finished in the small village of Stanton at about 4pm. Unfortunately, the only pub here closed at 3pm! Al's car was parked here so he dropped me off at the Pheasant Inn down the road while he went off with Jan to collect our car from Chipping Campden. After sorting out cars for tomorrow we checked in to the Plaisterers Arms in Winchcombe. Good beer, nice food.

Tomorrow we walk to Cleeve Hill.

Cotswold Way Official Start


Cotswold Way Alternative Start; the door of the church not the top of the tower!

Chipping Campden 400 year old Market Hall

Chipping Campden, edited to black and white
Chipping Campden Original

Jan and Al

Broadway Tower edited to black and white
Broadway Tower original

Broadway Tower

Stanton Church - days end



Friday, 25 March 2016

Geneva, Lausanne and Lucerne in Black and White

I have added new black and white photographs of 3 Swiss cities, Geneva, Lausanne and Lucerne. They weren't taken this year but I have just scanned the negatives to add to the existing sets. The Lucerne set also includes a picture taken on Pilatus, one of the mountains that overlooks the city and can be accessed by cable car from close to Lucerne.

Here are the permanent links to all images for:
Geneva: www.davebutcher.co.uk/gallery/cities?place=Geneva
Lausanne: www.davebutcher.co.uk/gallery/cities?key=Lausanne
Lucerne: www.davebutcher.co.uk/gallery/cities?place=Lucerne

Geneva



Lausanne




 Lucerne




Thursday, 24 March 2016

More New Images of Exmoor in Black and White

I recently loaded some more black and white photographs of Exmoor to my gallery website, www.davebutcher.co.uk. All taken in January 2016 on Ilford 120 film, FP4 and 400 Delta, using Mamiya 7 cameras. 
Exmoor Trees

Great Hangman Hill near Combe Martin

 Lorna Doone Farm and Bridge

 St Mary's Church, Oare

Robbers Bridge, Lorna Doone Country

Countisbury near Lynmouth

 Valley of Rocks, Lynmouth

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Experience Black and White Film and Darkroom Course

The photo is of one of the Peak District locations, a few miles from home, that I used for the recent 2 day Experience Black and White course. It was a private course for Trevor from Sheffield who wanted to experience using a film camera for the first time to take landscapes on black and white film. I lent him a Nikon FM2 with a zoom lens and gave him 2 rolls of Ilford FP4 film. Most of the first day was spent getting used to the switch from digital to film and taking photographs. 
We were back to base by 3pm. Then after a tea-break it was into the darkroom to process the film and hang it up to dry in the drying cabinet.
Day 2 started in the darkroom with making up 3 dishes of chemicals for making prints (developer-stop bath-fixer). Then the film from the day before was cut up and we made a contact print (the equivalent of thumbnails in digital-speak! This is a print of all of the negatives on a film at the actual size of the negative, no enlargement). From this we could choose which negatives to print. Since Trevor hadn't been in a darkroom before I was explaining everything as we went along. Next came a demonstration by me of the printing technique that everyone should be using in the darkroom, called Split-Grade Printing, the technique specifically designed by Ilford to work with the Ilford Multigrade RC paper that we used. It's the easiest way to make good quality prints without the need for lots of work in the darkroom. Then the rest of the day was spent with Trevor making 14 x 11 inch prints from his film. We managed to make 5 prints before time ran out. The final washing of the prints takes just 5 minutes or so and I have an Ilford 1250 dryer which dries them in about 20 seconds. We were soon finished and admiring results from the 2 days. He had some excellent prints to mount and frame for the walls of his home as well as now having first hand experience of the entire film camera and darkroom process.
If this sounds of interest contact me and we can talk through the options. The course is usually 2 days but can be done in 1 day with 1 location, 1 film and making just 1 or 2 prints.
See www.darkroomdave.com for videos and illustrated articles of some of the techniques that will be covered, all free, no subscription.